Big Walnuts Yonder "Big Walnuts Yonder"
Hey, check out this new supergroup” my co-worker said when we got the debut from Big Walnuts Yonder. “Great, another supergroup…” I thought to myself. Then I looked to see who was involved. Oh! Greg Saunier from Deerhoof! I sure like him. And Nick Reinhart from Tera Melos? Yeah, I like him too. Wait… AND Nels Cline!?! Both in and out of Wilco, he’s one of my fav guitarists. And… wait a second… you’ve gotta be kidding me. Mike Watt… Mike Watt!?! Bassist from the Minutemen Mike Watt? How have I ever called any other supergroup “super” before? Seriously. My mind was blown before I even pressed play. And after I heard it? Let’s just say that I was not prepared for how awesome this was gonna be. How awesome? You know what. It’s almost impossible to describe the free-jazz meets rockabilly meets Knitting Factory sounds. Check out the sharp turns of the John Zorn meets T Rex sounds of “Raise the Drawbridges?”.
Bill MacKay "Esker"
It was quite an exciting day when Drag City announced the signing of legendary Chicago-based guitar experimenter Bill MacKay. It was an even more exciting day when we got to hear his first album for them, Esker. Full of the sweet, sweet sounds that Chicagoans had come to know and love intimately, his sound is simultaneously timeless and forward thinking (which is tough to do with predominantly just an acoustic guitar). Occasionally whimsical, at other times he is like combination of William Tyler and Brian Eno, as is evidenced by the first single from the album, “Aster.” Check it out!
Black Lips "Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art?"
Atlanta’s scuzzy psych-garage rockers Black Lips are back and as swagger-y as ever. Also, as blissfully all over the place as ever. Maybe that has something to do with having Sean Lennon produce the album, and bringing mom Yoko around to contribute (and contribute she does). Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? (VICE) if full of freak flags waving proudly; country shuffles while Yoko screams here, ‘60s stripper saxophones sounds there. This is a bawdy, distorted, reverb soaked time. Flip the collar on your jean jacket. You’re gonna need the extra cool, and also so it can protect your neck from rock vampires. Check out the Eric Burden meets Ellery Roberts sounds of the first single from the album, “Cant Hold On.”
Delia Gonzalez "Horse Follows Darkness"
In 2015, Delia Gonzalez released In Remembrance, a collection of piano music written for a ballet. So it makes sense that her 2017 return, Horse Follows Darkness (DFA), is a Krautrock-indebted exploration due in part to a werewolf movie her 8 year old son made, and also in part due to his fascination with western movies from the ‘60s. Wait… huh? Look, I don’t write the press, I just read it. I also listen to the music. This album is like if Neu! recorded an album of Erik Satie compositions. Yes, it’s as awesome as that sounds. Check out the title track, “Horse Follows Darkness.”